The effective steps taken by the state government during the ongoing lockdown period has given a big respite to the farming community especially in availability of feed, fodder and veterinary services. As soon as the curfew was imposed in the state, the government gave added priority to animal husbandry sector by considering it as essential services as per the directions of the government of India and made efforts to import feed and fodder from the neighbouring states.
The state government has successfully supplied fodder in sufficient quantities and no scarcity of fodder has been reported from any of the districts. The nomads in the state have been given priority as per the directions of the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. The free movement of livestock has also been allowed as per his directions.
The state government issued permits for transportation of feed and fodder since the announcement of lockdown from 24 March, 2020. A total of 450 permits have been issued in the district Kangra for inter-state and intra-state transportation of feed and fodder including poultry feed. The smooth transportation of fodder is being ensured in all the districts. Till date, approximately 60,000 quintals of dry fodder has been received in the state and there is also no problem of storage of feed and fodder.
The government has provided Rs. 12,39,660 to Gau-sadans to procure wheat bhusa, fodder. Rs. 60 lakh additional amount has been issued to Deputy Directors of the Animal Husbandry department for providing fodder to Gau-sadans giving shelter to abandoned cattle, on the basis of actual strength of cattle housed therein. The trucks of fodders have also been made available free of cost through H.P Gauseva Aayog from Moga in Punjab and these are being provided to the Gau-Sadans just on transportation cost.
In Kangra district, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry has been made nodal officer for facilitation of intra-state and inter-state transportation of fodder. The department in its coordination with all the deputy directors and local administration is also ensuring wellbeing and feeding of stray animals during the lockdown period.
Rs. 15 lakh has been given to supplement day-to-day expenditure of Gau-Sadans for taking care of stray animals. Apart from this, rupees five lakh each have been released to district Mandi and district Kangra, Rs. 2.20 lakh to district Bilaspur and rupees three lakh to district Sirmour for providing assistance to NGOs running Gau-Sadans.
The government with the cooperation of Animal Husbandry department and respective districts administration has also provided logistic help and ration etc. to migratory Gaddi and Gujjar families. So far, 1403 Gaddi families have been contacted on migratory routes, out of which 144 families have been provided ration and 1355 families veterinary services in the districts of Sirmour, Solan, Shimla, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur, Mandi and Kangra. The issues of migrant flock owners regarding sale of surplus livestock have been resolved.
Himachal Pradesh Milk Federation and Kamdhenu Hitkari Manch, Namhol in district Bilaspur is also processing milk regularly. The daily procurement of milk by the Federation has increased from 65,000 liters to 80,000 liters per day. The Federation is providing milk at the door-steps to the consumers during the lockdown.
The seasonal migration of sheep breeders is going on smoothly in district Chamba and the Animal Husbandry department has set up five transit camps at Thulel, Khargat, Lahru, Berangal and Koti for providing veterinary aid and other logistics and so far 280 flocks that entered the district have been covered. The department has vaccinated 66079 sheep and goat for foot and mouth diseases, 162,450 were provided drenching and 72689 were given dipping facility for prevention of diseased during migration.
To ensure the well-being of the lakhs of cattle and to solve the problems of stray cattle, encouraging individuals and organizations to adopt stray cattle, provide assistance for running of cow sanctuaries and Gau-Sadans, the government in its recent cabinet meeting has decided to start ‘Rehabilitation of Stray Cattle’ scheme. In the initial phase, Rs. 500 per cow would be provided for cows in gausadans/gaushalas and cow sanctuaries. The Animal Husbandry department would also complete tagging under Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health (INAPH) scheme as per Government of India’s guidelines at the earliest.